Posts Tagged ‘CAST’

Review of CAST’s production of ‘As You Like It’ in Ely Cathedral on Wednesday 24th August 2016

August 28, 2016

The University of Cambridge American Stage Tour presented a delightfully entertaining production of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ in Ely Cathedral presbytery on Wednesday.

These highly talented performers captured our hearts from the start and we could relate perfectly to the characters ranging from the lovely Rosalind (played by Amy Malone) and love-stricken Orlando (Joe Pitts) to the well matched Touchstone (Ryan Monk) and Bawdy Audrey (Megan Gulbert). Every character was true and the reactions to each other’s speeches were particularly impressive.

The witty Shakespearean language was delivered with astute, expressive timing while scenery costumes and mannerisms of the characters were brought up-to-date without ever losing the high quality of Shakespeare’s twists and turns in his witty script and complex plot.

The ingenious stage tableaux, especially the sheep scene and the beautiful highly appropriate music (by Jamie Felton) had us transfixed.

Special moments for me were the realistic fight scene at the beginning of the play when Orlando attacked his brother Oliver (Alasdair McNab), when Celia (AliceCarlill) expressed  such  disdain by  casually reading a book, ignoring the intricate games the lovers around her played and the MacDonald’s picnic. Only a highly successful group such as this would get away with such a scene.

This excellent group will begin their American tour in September.

For more information contact http://www.castcambridge.com/

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Review of CAST’s production of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ in Ely Cathedral on Thursday 27th August 2015.

August 29, 2015

Cambridge American Stage Tour, established in 2000 under the patronage of none other than Dame Judi Dench,  is a group of talented actors, directors, designers and technicians from Cambridge University (UK) who band together to produce a play to take to schools and universities in America.

Under the directorship of Kennedy Bloomer, 9 cast members delivered Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ in Ely Cathedral on Thursday night, revelling in the frolics and trickery with tremendous enthusiasm and energy.

The familiar plot was ever present. Petruccio (played by Toby Marlow) decided it would be a worthwhile business proposition to marry Kate for her dowry.  He ranted and railed like a wild man shocking even the feral Katherina (Kate Reid) until she became a submissive and obedient wife as planned. As he was working towards this achievement, other suitors were freed to compete for the hand of her beautiful but cunning sister Bianca (Julia Kass).  In a bid to claim her affections the suitors adopted delightfully eccentric guises and invented wonderfully exotic schemes to satisfy the much tried father Baptista (Sarah Mercer) that one of them was worthy enough to gain Bianca’s hand in marriage.

Needless to say, everything seemed to go wrong, but as events propelled themselves towards the final scene, all was resolved and Petruccio and Kate won the day and were an example to them all. The speed and agility of the performers made it even more impressive when we realized most of the actors had three or so different roles to play.

There were some magnificent highlights: the determination of Petruccio, the facial expressions of Baptista, the camaraderie and ribaldry of the fellows, the hilarious ‘musician’ ‘tuning’ his instrument, the grotesque widow and her very reluctant partner, blokes tucking into a Take-away denying the poor starving Kate a single bite to eat: these were a few of the many memorable scenes in this highly entertaining production. Another amusing touch was the so realistic drunk who milled among the audience and pushed his way towards the stage to provide a novel way of announcing that it was the end of the interval.

The remaining remarkable members of CAST included: Will Bishop (playing Lucentio/Player/Servant), Aoife Kennan (Tranio/Curtis), Will Peck (Grumio/Bartholomew/Widow), Robbie Taylor Hunt (Horensio/Servant/Merchant) and Marco Young (Gremio).

This team should be a real hit in New York and Florida where it is next bound. The show returns to Cambridge in October and will be performed at the ADC Theatre from the 6th to the 10th of October.   To book seats: www adctheatre.com and for more information about CAST contact: http://www.castcambridge.com.